On Friday 10 June 2011 Australia announced its recognition of the Transitional National Council (TNC) as ‘the legitimate interlocutor’ of the Libyan people. The Maltese Government had made a similar announcement made nine days earlier.
“We recognise the Libyan Transitional National Council as the legitimate interlocutor of the Libyan people,” Australian Foreign Minister Mr Kevin Rudd told a news conference, adding that Britain and other countries have used the same formulation. A high-level Australian delegation is expected to travel to the Libyan city of Benghazi next month, where the rebels are based, to meet TNC representatives.
On Thursday night, Mr Rudd met with other diplomats to discuss the situation in Libya, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In a media release issued by the Department of Information in Malta on 1 June 2011, it was stated that on Tuesday 31 May 2011 Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, spoke to Dr Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman and Head of International Affairs of the Executive Board of the National Transitional Council of Libya, and informed him of the Maltese Cabinet decision to the effect that the Maltese Government considers the Transitional National Council as the sole legitimate interlocutor of the Libyan people.
Dr Jibril described this decision as a very important step forward which the Libyan people will never forget. He added that while he hoped that the Maltese government will eventually decide to go for full recognition, this was a development that was very much appreciated.